BOTTOM LINE: A Dreadful Thriller
|Platform: Amazon Prime||Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller|
What Is the Story About?
Rhythm, aka Ritu (Keerthy Suresh), is pregnant now. However, the memories of her past continue to haunt. It is related to her missing first-child Ajay, six years ago. When a new kidnapping happens, Rhythm relives the pain, all over again. Did she get relief from the sadness? Did she find Ajay after all these years and also who is behind it?
Penguin offers Keerthy Suresh a role that is a far cry from her usual outings. There is minimal to none typical lovey-dovey stuff. She plays a woman suffering from the past traumatic incident. It is neatly and convincingly pulled off.
Some parts which require Keerthy Suresh to fear and cry come naturally. The pre-climax investigation block is the biggest downer from the acting perspective. It is made up by the climax where she nails it again.
Debutant director Eashvar Karthic has a decent plot in hand. It is more of a psychological drama than an outright thriller. With a gripping narrative, it could still be an engaging fare.
The movie stars well, although a bit slow. The proceedings take time to kick in. What keeps us glued is the direction it turns, which is away from the expectations. The one related to the kid, especially in the first half, definitely takes the cake.
However, the other red herring created through the characters of Raghu and Gautham weaken the narrative. It seems too obvious and is the movie equivalent to the clickbait articles we read online. It is easy to guess. A couple of blocks are lengthily designed and offer very little thrill or suspense due to the same reason.
Still, the kid track and the eeriness associated with it make one hooked to the proceedings. The interval and the post-intermission block are a perfect example in this regard.
When we think the narrative might shift to the next gear, a long and dreadful roadblock happens. It is decent when we think of how it could be on paper. But in terms of execution, it falls flat. The first half of that particular segment itself shows signs as it progresses, but the other which constitutes the pre-climax is terrible, and totally falls apart. The execution is to be blamed here, first and foremost.
Such is the impact that the single block alone turns the whole serious narrative into a joke. The game, the questions and the acting –everything gives a tacky vibe.
Luckily, there is a climax ahead, and it brings back the seriousness. The revelation is not a surprise anymore. But, the director has for sure (to a large extent) managed to hold the identity. Revealing anything more would be a spoiler, but surely many would feel the same way as the character says when it comes in the open.
The final block is engaging with a haunting background score and neatly created dramatic tension. It helps in covering up the mess that just preceded it. However, the real reason would still find it hard to make a cut. More so, for those who watch thrillers frequently?
Overall, Penguin is a decent mix of drama and suspense on paper. It scores in the second half despite a terrible pre-climax. The ending saves the day. But it still can’t help the lost cause, even if we take digitally.
The movie primarily centres on Keerthy Suresh, but there are a few actors who get a decent share of screen time. Lingaa as Raghu plays the ex-husband. He is key to the narrative and does his part well. Similarly, Nithya Kriupa has a small role to play, which she does effectively. Mathi, however, fails at the crucial juncture. Madhampatty Rangarag and others are wasted.
Music and Other Departments?
The movie is technically sound with lovely cinematography and haunting and eerie background score. The latter is by Santhosh Narayanan. He always looked like delivering and did, as expected. If only the actual content matched these levels. The writing is decent in patches.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Penguin Movie Review by Binged Bureau
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